Claims of unpaid fuel rebates apparently led to Monday's raid on the West Knoxville headquarters of Pilot Flying J as part of a federal criminal investigation, the company's CEO Jimmy Haslam said Tuesday.
Pilot Flying J, headquartered in Knoxville, is one of the area's major employers and one of the largest family-owned businesses in the country. Haslam is also owner of the NFL Cleveland Browns.
As the investigation continues it is being closely followed around the region and nationally. Here's what other media outlets are saying.
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's travel center company has engaged in fraud for 'many years', FBI says
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's travel center company for "many years'' engaged in a fraud scheme to keep money owed to customers as gas rebates, according to documents filed in federal court Thursday. The documents further say Haslam knew about the fraud committed by top sales officials at his family business, Pilot Flying J, in which employees targeted unsophisticated trucking companies through a rebate program. Federal documents unsealed today also say he was present for discussions about the rebate fraud activities. A 120-page affidavit to a search warrant … filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn., says Pilot Flying J sales employees withheld fuel price rebates and discounts in an attempt to boost the profitability of the company and increase their sales commissions.
Truck stop competitor of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Pilot Flying J rebates harm small businesses
The rebates that Jimmy Haslam says are at the heart of a federal criminal investigation into his company have made it impossible for smaller, independent truck stops to compete against Haslam's massive Pilot Flying J, a trucking industry official says. -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Browns Owner Haslam's Pilot Flying J Probed by FBI
Cleveland Browns football team owner Jimmy Haslam's truck stop-service business, Pilot Flying J Inc., was searched by agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, an FBI agent said. -- Bloomberg Businessweek
Jimmy Haslam: Pilot Flying J has done nothing wrong
On Monday, the FBI in Knoxville, Tenn., raided the Pilot Flying J headquarters, where new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is the CEO, and executed four search warrants that also involved the IRS. Haslam also said he plans to be in Cleveland later this week to help begin planning for the upcoming NFL Draft. -- CBS Sports
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam focuses on NFL Draft after addressing FBI investigation into Pilot Flying J
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said today that his business, which was raided by federal authorities Monday, has done nothing wrong and said "the last thing I want to do" is put a blemish on Cleveland or the Browns. -- Cleveland Plain Dealer
FBI raid on Pilot Flying J stems from unpaid cash rebates, CEO says
The FBI raid on Pilot Flying J is part of a federal criminal probe into claims the truck stop chain failed to rebate cash to truck lines that bought fuel, company CEO Jimmy Haslam said on Tuesday. -- The Commercial Appeal
Pilot Flying J CEO Reveals Reason Behind FBI Raid
Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam pointed to claims of failure to pay rebates to trucking customers as the reason behind Monday afternoon's raid on the company's headquarters. However, federal officials are still not talking as they reportedly executed a second search warrant. -- Convenience Store News
Haslam's company raided by FBI
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said Tuesday the federal government has launched a criminal investigation into rebates offered by the truck stop chain owned by his family, including his brother, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. -- ESPN
FBI, IRS Raid Billionaire Jimmy Haslam's Pilot Flying J
FBI and IRS agents executed sealed search and seizure warrants Monday and Tuesday at Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville, TN as part of an investigation into one of the largest family-owned companies in the United States. Billionaire Jimmy Haslam, who runs the company as CEO in addition to owning the Cleveland Browns, said that Pilot Flying J is cooperating with the authorities. -- Forbes
CEO: Pilot Flying J raided over claims of unpaid rebates
Jimmy Haslam said he was not sure which documents were taken from the building Monday, and said some of the company's sales staff had been subpoenaed. Haslam said he had not been subpoenaed. -- Nashville Business Journal
FBI, IRS still mum about Pilot Flying J investigation
Perhaps the most ominous aspect of Monday's raid by FBI and IRS officials on the headquarters of Pilot Flying J, the company run by -- and the self-proclaimed "first love" of -- Browns owner Jimmy Haslam comes from the decision of the federal authorities to provide no information at all about the situation. -- NBC Sports
Truck Stop Business of Browns Owner Faces Investigation
On Monday, it became clear that Jimmy Haslam, who paid more than $1 billion for the Browns and only a few days ago sold the minority stake he had held in the Pittsburgh Steelers, has much bigger concerns than which players the Browns will select in next week's draft. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service raided and locked down the headquarters of Pilot Flying J, the family business of truck stops and convenience stores run by Haslam, on Monday afternoon in Knoxville, Tenn., as part of a continuing investigation. -- The New York Times
Jimmy Haslam: Cleveland Browns not distracted
After the FBI and Internal Revenue Service locked down the headquarters of Jimmy Haslam's company, Pilot Flying J, the Cleveland Browns owner wants fans to know that the investigation will not affect football matters going forward. Also: Team reacts to raid. -- NFL
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam apologizes to Cleveland for 'blemish' of Pilot Flying J raid
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III apologized to the city of Cleveland on Tuesday during a news conference in Knoxville, Tenn., for negative publicity linked to an FBI raid Monday on Haslam's Pilot Flying J Company. -- The Ohio News-Herald
Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam Has Business Raided By FBI And IRS
The Cleveland Browns are hoping they can finally get out of the losing rut they've been in for the last decade and become the pride of Cleveland once again. Jimmy Haslam, the Browns new owner, is the man spearheading that movement, but the plan may have hit a snag. Haslam's business, Pilot Flying J was raided by the FBI and IRS on Monday as agents locked down Haslam's corporate headquarters in Knoxville. -- Sports Illustrated
Jimmy Haslam downplays FBI raid on Pilot Flying J
A day after the FBI locked down the Knoxville headquarters of Pilot Flying J, the multibillion-dollar truck stop company owned by the family of Gov. Bill Haslam, his brother downplayed the raid and said he had launched an internal investigation of his own. -- The Tennessean
FBI Raids Biggest Owner of Truck Stops
A Federal Bureau of Investigation raid brought the headquarters of Pilot Flying J, North America's largest truck-stop chain, to a standstill this week. -- Wall Street Journal
By Shelley Phillips Kimel - The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.
©2013 Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Visit the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.) at www.knoxnews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services